Education and promotion of space research
Chemistry - Education experiment
Verification and demonstration of technological capabilities of producing shells and hollow structures made of composite materials by polymerization in real weightlessness conditions.
Producing samples of hollow shells of composite polymeric materials with their curing by two different polymerization methods; self-hardening and photopolymerization under the effect of ultraviolet radiation.
Used science hardware:
- "Pressure experimental chamber" kit;
- "Shell deployment devices" kit;
- "Polymer filling device" kit;
- "Air purging device" kit;
- Glove minibox.
Used flight hardware:
- Digital Camera Nikon D3X;
- Camcorder SONY HVR-Z7E.
The experiment will enable to acquire information on liquid distribution in a shape of a hollow body with equally wide walls, with no effect of buoyancy forces. Simulated experimental data on possibility of producing hollow structures made of curable polymer composites in space conditions will be also obtained.
The experimental material is planned to be used for scientific and educational purposes to illustrate the action of the studied physical and chemical laws in microgravity and demonstration of producing hollow polymeric materials in space.
Upon completion of SE sessions the following items shall be returned to the ground: video records of 10 sessions of a process of liquid polymer distribution between the multilayer flexible shell layers; photos of the final result, namely produced container of cured polymer in each of 10 sessions and photos of the crew operating the science hardware; samples of hollow structures (from two to four) including one or two samples produced by self-hardening method, and one or two samples produced by photopolymerization method.